“As Nora slept, I imagined a cold creek rolling through the grooves of her mind. A dream where their inner thoughts were rinsing themselves, basking in the streaming water. I thought it would be wonderful to go to sleep, full of complication, full of knots, and for those dense points to have drifted free by morning.”
Natalie is a college freshman living in the big city for the first time. She grew up rather sheltered and is suddenly experiencing independence and all the world truly has to offer. She’s a bit introverted and shy. We follow her as she meets her dorm mates, takes her poetry class and meets an older woman in the park. She is quickly overwhelmed and searching for comfort and finds it with this older woman. But she hides herself from her friends, not telling any of them she is gay or who she is really seeing.
The narrative reminded me a lot of a Sally Rooney novel. Fischer really well captures that moment of youth where you are really testing the waters of who you are away from your parents. Natalie reminded me a lot of my early college days where I was trying on new personas and trying decide what was important to me. I felt so deeply for Natalie when she realizes what is really going on and yet most of the novel was frustrated with her naivety and willingness to keep things at surface level.
The writing style is really beautiful and while a lot of it takes place in and around a poetry class, it was really accessible, especially for someone like me who finds poetry daunting. I would say to read this one if you liked My Dark Vanessa or Vladimir (although there is no explicit scenes in this one, the themes are similar).
Thanks to Algonquin Books for gifted access via Netgalley. All opinions above are my own. This one is out May 23rd so add it to your TBR!
Did you go to college? If so, where? Do you use your degree? If you didn’t go to college, did you do any specific career training?